Wetlands clean pollutants from water, add to precious groundwater supplies, prevent flooding, stabilize banks and shorelines, reduce erosion, provide nurseries for shellfish, sport and commercial fish species, and protect underground gas and oil. When pipelines become exposed to waves and storms, there is a major risk of ecologically catastrophic oil spills and gas leaks. And you've already seen the obvious benefits of wetlands for wildlife habitat and in providing outdoor recreation opportunities such as birding, hunting, nature photography, or just enjoying the miracles and music of nature. As you continue along the Creole Nature Trail you will notice smaller wetlands. They are each part of a large system of wetlands whose cumulative effects are significant. It is our hope that you will travel slowly, stopping often to contemplate the often subtle and sometimes spectacular beauty of the marsh. Louisiana's Outback is not only a rest stop for birds, but it can be a rest stop for humans, too. Famed conservationist Rachel Carson noted that, "Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find resources of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. Those who dwell among the beauties and mysterious of the earth are never alone or weary of life." Dwell a while here - in the midst of one of the world's most special places and find strength, and peace. As you drive through one of the world's great wetlands think what a poorer world it would be if these wetlands no longer existed.